If you were paying attention to the media event today the iTunes announcement is already old news. I apologize, but I’m not as quick as I used to be, so I’ve only just downloaded the update.
Hi, I’m iTunes 7. I look familiar, but I’m only kinda related to the iTunes you’re used to. I’m greyer. I have more eye-candy. And I hog memory. You weren’t using that, were you?
I am less than pleased with the new version of iTunes. To be honest, I was completely content with iTunes 6. Heck, even iTunes 5 was alright by my standards. As the older versions of WinAMP demonstrated (and my personal favorite Windows player, NAD), sometimes simpler is just better.
Where’d the RAM Go?
I’m not a cheap man, but I’m still not quite ready to step out on a limb and grab a MacBook Pro just yet. Until I’m ready for a 110° laptop, I’m stuck with my old 15″ Powerbook and it’s paltry 512MB of RAM. In general, 512MB has been fine. I can run Firefox, Safari, Photoshop, Mail, Quicksilver, and Cyberduck all at once without a single hiccup.
I used to be able to add iTunes to that list. No more.
Don’t get me wrong, the Coverflow disc browser is nice, but it only contributes to iTunes eating about 100MB of real memory and over 300MB of virtual memory. Nice. So as long as I don’t mind watching my Expose windows stutter, I can still listen to music. I swear the original Coverflow.app was much faster. (Note: it gets a bit better with a mini-window, but that’s not really the point).
Not that some of the new features aren’t fun (iPod at a glance is brilliant). But entertainment at the expense of my system memory is a step in the wrong direction if you ask me. I don’t want a behemoth, just a nice player that syncs with my iPod.
Yeah, I’m whining a bit. I could always go buy more RAM — but I shouldn’t have to.
We’ve Painted. Again.
As is now becoming a tradition for Apple, they’ve gone ahead and revamped the iTunes interface as well. Those who remember the iTunes 5 release and the death of brushed metal, the pillaging continues. This time we’ve changed all of the sliders too. Sorry, Aqua, iTunes just doesn’t want to have anything to do with you.
I must say, iTunes continues to evolve into something that is looking more and more like Apple’s slow website redesign. I’m all for new design (heck, look at this place), but some consistency is nice. That’s what makes all of Apple’s hardware so unmistakeable: they carry design instruments through different pieces. Software, I guess, is completely immune to that rule.
Secretly, I’m a big fan of Apple’s new design elements. The column headers are clearer, the interface cleaner, and black-shininess is always appreciated. Oh yeah, and now we’re back to a blue icon.
That being said, I’m not sure why iTunes continues to be the only application that Apple continuously revamps. It’s a new version, Apple, I get it. There’s no need to change it completely for the world to notice that you’re now selling Disney videos and five flavors of iPod nano.